Respect for the rule of law and human rights forms the essence of the protection of refugees, returnees and stateless persons.  The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has a mandate to provide international protection to refugees, including promoting the accession to international refugee instruments and other relevant human rights instruments.  UNHCR’s activities are also focused on assisting in the strengthening of legal structures that would enhance the rule of law, including in the area of transitional justice.

Statelessness is a source of human insecurity, forced displacement and serious conflict, which may pose a threat to national and regional stability. Legislation on nationality and administrative practices that are in accordance with internationally recognized human rights standards are essential elements of the rule of law and key in addressing root causes of conflict.  UNHCR provides technical advice and support to governments for the accession to the 1954 Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness.